A day in the life of a visual merchandiser typically requires them to get creative all the while being strategic. From the development of plans to three-dimensional displays, visual merchandisers devise attractive and engaging ways to motivate consumers to purchase goods and services.
A dynamic role
With a strong leaning towards product and brand strategies, visual merchandisers have quite a dynamic role. Their main goal is to capture the imagination of shoppers inside and outside a store. A good visual merchandiser can turn the window of a store or shop into one of the most intriguing artistic installation or go ahead and strategically arrange a shelf so as to maximise the chances of selling the contents. A well thought out visual merchandising program can go a long way in stimulating public awareness, drawing shoppers into the store and greatly improving sales figures.
The role of the marketing strategy
It should be noted that before any visual merchandiser can begin to actively promote the products of a store, a clear marketing strategy must and should be developed. This usually calls for the conducting of extensive market research, having lengthy liaisons with suppliers and discussing results with a design team. The visual merchandising strategy must therefore focus on presenting products in way that promotes their brands image and style.
The role of a visual merchandiser
In a much broader sense, a visual merchandiser is responsible for the planning and building of a stores display arrangement in its totality. On a daily basis, they would work closely with retail buyers, suppliers and inventory managers to allocate stock and equipment, create appropriate signage, arrange the lighting and maximise the commercial and artistic impact. Visual merchandisers are also charged with the responsibility of organising floor staff so as to ensure that appropriate displays are presented correctly.
On any given day, a visual merchandiser can be found discussing appropriate marketing strategies for a new and upcoming season, negotiating with buyers over timely delivery of products and rolling up their sleeves to help out in actual construction of a window display. Even though an overarching approach is very vital and is usually adapted by many visual merchandisers; it is also very important for such a professional to also be able to pick out small problems and pay close attention to details. Many times, an item with falling sales figures only requires to be incorporated into a display so as to stimulate and improve the sales numbers significantly.
How to become a visual merchandiser
In Australia, it is common for visual merchandisers to begin their careers at an entry retail level position. Just like any other profession, competition is quite stiff and most retail vacancies will require at the very least a secondary level education and a professional certification such as a Diploma in Visual Merchandising. To be the whole package with a Diploma in Visual Merchandising, the diploma course should provide training in designing, planning and implementation of various merchandising concepts, design and construction of effective props and displays, retail and visual merchandising and also graphics and digital arts and design. Previous experience in the retail arena is also essential since it is a field which is quite demanding and requires someone who can come up with a concept on paper and go ahead to actualise the same and make it a success.
Without any shred of doubt, visual merchandisers do occupy a unique and exciting position in the retail landscape. They sit at an enviable position since they have the ability to help define and push upcoming styles and guide industry trends. This role does help the employee to constantly engage with and gain important skills in a relatively wide range of retail sectors. It also does offer a very impressive career path growth options for those who are keen on developing within this sector. They also do experience products and services at the cutting edge of that particular industry, including the latest technologies and fashion before the masses get to know about them. Most importantly though, a visual merchandiser is usually in a position to stretch his or her artistic muscles while at the same time still advancing his or her professional career in the retail business landscape.
If you’re looking to get into visual merchandising, make sure you’re qualified with Kangan Institute.
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